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Study on Barriers to Access to Services for Persons with Disabilities-Basra Governorate – Humanity & Inclusion

Terms of Reference

Study on Barriers to Access to Services for Persons with Disabilities in Basra Governorate


Handicap International in Iraq

Outraged by the injustice faced by persons with disabilities and vulnerable populations, Handicap International aspires to a world of solidarity and inclusion, enriched by our differences, where everyone can live in dignity.

Handicap International is an independent and impartial aid and development organisation working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work alongside disabled and vulnerable people to help meet their essential needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights. For further information about the association: https://hi.org/

HI has been registered and operational in Iraq since 1991 and has become a lead implementing agency in the emergency response in the Health and Protection sectors, operating across Ninewa, Kirkuk, Baghdad, Sulaymaniyah and Diyala Governorates. Since 2014, HI has scaled up its intervention in Iraq to respond to the humanitarian needs generated by the capture of territory by the IS-group, subsequent military operations and the widespread displacement of Iraqi populations.

In line with HI Iraq’s Operational Strategy for the period 2017-2020, the global objective of HI programming in Iraq is to ‘’Enhance the protection and resilience of conflict-affected communities in Iraq’’; an objective achieved through an operational framework of three central pillars:

§ Arms Risk Reduction: Reduce the impact of the Conventional Weapon (CW) and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) for conflict-affected populations through Risk Education and land release

§ Health: Improve access to specific services for the most vulnerable people whose physical and functional and/or psychological integrity is compromised, through the provision of physical rehabilitation and Mental Health/Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) services

§ Access to Essential Services: Ensure equal access to essential services, protection and basic needs for all conflict-affected populations, including persons with disabilities

The current operations are implemented through direct intervention in Ninewa, Kirkuk, Suleymaniah Diyala and Anbar Governorates. HI currently has a country coordination office in Erbil, field offices in Mosul, Kirkuk, Kalar, Sulaymaniyah and Baghdad. This study falls under the scope of a Consortium with Heartland Alliance and War Child UK, funded by The Marla Ruzicka War Victims Fund. Its findings and recommendations will contribute to HI and its partner IADO advocacy activities, towards local and national authorities, for improved access to services for persons with disabilities.

Situation analysis

Basra governorate is located at the far south of Iraq, bordering Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to the south and Iran to the east. Its population is estimated to be about 4.5 million, over half of whom are under the age of 24 and the population of Basra City is between 1.9 million to 2.4 million[1], making it the second largest Iraqi city. The vast majority of its population are Shia Muslim Arabs, with a considerable Sunni community and small Christian population. Tribal system is well-established in the governorate, with hundreds of Arab tribes and clans, and tribal law and justice remaining very present as does reliance on tribal networks.

While Southern Iraq largely escaped the ISIL violence, thousands of Basrawis joined the fight against Islamic State from 2014 onwards and Basra had previously been significantly impacted by the eight-year conflict with Iran in the 1980’s and the 1991 Gulf War, following which an uprising against Saddam’s Hussein rule was massively repressed. Basra further witnessed some of the heaviest fighting following the US invasion of 2003 and is still impacted by massive unexploded ordnance contamination, significantly impacting agriculture and continuously threatening civilians’ lives and physical integrity.

Despite being oil-rich and a primary driver of the Iraqi economy – it’s oil fields accounting for up to 65 percent of the country’s oil revenues and Umm Qasr port being the country’s only shipping hub – Basra continues to suffer from prolonged unemployment and poverty, limited public services and infrastructure, fuelled by poor governance and corruption, with local economic development being a very low priority for the central government. The agricultural sector remains a major source of livelihoods for over 70% of the rural communities in the governorate and is the largest single source of rural employment but has increasingly suffered in the past years of major water salinity issues and persistent droughts. The disruption of the agricultural sector has caused significant population movements from rural to urban areas, further saturating defaulting public services and infrastructures. In summer 2018, violent protests erupted in the governorate, triggered by crippling electricity shortage, water pollution, related public health crisis and longstanding grievances over corruption.

Despite being void of recent conflict activity, Basra suffers from major tribal violence, organized crime and widespread presence of various armed groups and militias, coupled with sizeable weapons proliferation. According to INSO governorate profile, ‘’presence of armed groups has been incentivized by monetary gains from protection fees within certain lucrative sectors, such as oil, gas, and shipping’’ while violence between different Shi’a armed groups is mostly related to control of land and oil revenues. In past years, smuggling, unemployment and corruption have also triggered a significant drug crisis in the area.


General Objective

Assess local barriers and facilitators to accessing services (including societal, financial, physical, informational and institutional barriers) for persons with disabilities (PwD) in Basra governorate, with a specific focus on war-related disabilities and compensation system in particular. The study will further provide recommendations to address the identified barriers, from a policy and advocacy perspective.

[1] NCCI, Basrah Governorate Profile, December 2015. A Livelihoods and Market Assessment conducted by NRC in October 2018 reports that Basra city itself hosts more than 4 million inhabitants.

Specific Objectives

a. Understand the barriers to accessing services for Persons with Disabilities.

i. Availability

ii. Accessibility

iii. Acceptability

iv. Adaptability

v. Affordability

vi. Accountability

b. Understand commonalities and how the identified barriers possibly differ among different communities or groups

c. Identify factors that facilitate access to services and corroborate feasible solutions to overcoming the identified barriers

d. Provide recommendations for national and governorate level policy, based on which HI and IADO will advocate with Iraqi government officials and service providers to increase access to services in Basra governorate in compliance with Law 38.


§ Final detailed report on the barriers to accessing services with an analysis of the situation and recommendations on how these could be addressed

§ Short external report with key findings and recommendations

§ Mapping of key stakeholders involved, their role and influence in addressing the barriers identified, using the access to services triangle to understand the roles and interactions between stakeholders (users, service providers & policy makers/authorities)

§ Presentation and verification of key findings among key stakeholders interviewed, and with HI Iraq program staff before final report writing

§ Contribute content and provide recommendations for local and national advocacy strategy


  1. Develop the study design in consultation with HI and IADO staff ensuring it is accessible and inclusive of persons with disabilities, with support of HI technical guidance. The design of data collection tools (questionnaire, focus group questions and informed consent forms) must be validated by HI.
  2. Conduct literature review of relevant documents (e.g. National policies, grey literature, reports, HI guidelines, evaluations and studies from relevant actors)
  3. Perform primary data gathering through key informant interviews and focus group discussions among key external stakeholders (including persons with disabilities and their family members, government authorities and service providers) capturing information on the different barriers and facilitators to accessing services, factors causing/affecting these barriers and existing programs by government and non-government groups engaged in addressing the issue.
  4. Oversight of data collection and data analysis
  5. Presentation and verification of key findings and recommendations among key stakeholders, consortium members and with HI Iraq program staff before final report writing
  6. Presentation of key findings to HI Iraq program staff and consortium members

Stakeholders involved in the study

Stakeholders involved in the study include national and local authorities (to be defined with HI in the early stage of the study design), community leaders, civil society actors, organisations of persons with disabilities, service providers and persons with disabilities and their family members.

Geographical coverage

The study will cover Basra Governorate.


Consultancy duration: February 2020 – April 2020 (3 months)

Required background and skills

· Master’s degree in social sciences or a related field in development

· At least 5 years’ experience working in programming in humanitarian, recovery or development setting

· Proven track record in analyzing issues pertaining to disability

· Good understanding of the UN Convention in the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD)

· Demonstrated experience in the field of disability issues (research, evaluation and consultation)

· Previous experience in drafting a human rights report of any kind, ideally connected to CRPD

· Previous experience with primary research and experience working with secondary sources for research purposes

· Proven understanding of Iraqi context and especially Persons with Disability in Iraq

· Good understanding of Iraqi government and legal system, familiarity with Iraqi disability laws are a plus

· Excellent English language and writing skills

· Knowledge of Arabic would be an asset

How to apply

Please send an email to tenders@iraq.hi.org by the January 19th 2020 with subject “Basra barriers 2019” and with the following information:

· your CV

· a sample of a human rights report you have prepared or co-authored

· your minimum required fee for the consultancy and breakdown of proposed costs, including visa, transportation, accommodation and translation. It will be the responsibility of the consultant to recruit, train and oversee data collectors.